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Famitsu - Issue 1.jpg
Cover art for the first issue of Famitsū magazine (then known as Famicom Tsūshin), June 1986. The Atari 2600 controller and the Family Computer controller can be seen on the cover.
Categories Video game
FrequencyWeekly / Monthly
FormatPaper and online magazine
Circulation 500,000 (Shūkan)
120,000 (Entamikusu)
80,000 (Connect! On)
40,000 (DS+Wii) [1]
Publisher Enterbrain, Inc., Tokuma
First issueJune 1986
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Website www.famitsu.com

Famitsu, [lower-alpha 1] formerly Famicom Tsūshin, is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Enterbrain, Inc. and Tokuma. Famitsu is published in both weekly and monthly formats as well as in the form of special topical issues devoted to only one console, video game company, or other theme. Shūkan Famitsū, [lower-alpha 2] the original Famitsū publication, is considered the most widely read and respected video game news magazine in Japan. [2] [3] [4] From October 28, 2011 Enterbrain began releasing the digital version of the magazine exclusively on BookWalker weekly. [5]

Video game journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games, typically based on a core "reveal–preview–review" cycle. There has been recent growth in online publications and blogs.

Tokuma Shoten

Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd. is a publisher in Japan, headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo. The company was established in 1954 by Yasuyoshi Tokuma in Minato, Tokyo. The company’s product portfolio includes music publishing, video game publishing, movies, anime, magazines, manga and books.

Enterbrain publisher

Enterbrain (エンターブレイン), formerly Enterbrain, Inc., is a Japanese publisher and brand company of Kadokawa Corporation founded on January 30, 1987 as ASCII Film Co., Ltd.. Magazines published by Enterbrain are generally focused on video games and computer entertainment as well as video game and strategy guides. In addition, the company publishes a small selection of anime artbooks. Enterbrain is based in Tokyo, Japan, with a paid-in capital of 410 million yen. Enterbrain's current president is Hirokazu Hamamura.



The first issue of Famitsū was published on June 6, 1986 as Famicom Tsūshin [lower-alpha 3] . [6] It was published semiregularly thereafter, going through periods of monthly, bimonthly, and quarterly publication. On July 19, 1991 (issue #136) the magazine was renamed to Shūkan Famicom Tsūshin [lower-alpha 4] and issues were published weekly thereafter. Alongside the weekly magazine, a monthly version called Gekkan Famicom Tsūshin [lower-alpha 5] was also published. At the start of 1996 (with issue #369) the magazines underwent another name change, truncating their titles to Shūkan Famitsū [lower-alpha 6] and Gekkan Famitsū. [lower-alpha 7]

The magazine was published by ASCII from its founding through March 2000 when it was sold to Enterbrain, Inc.

Shūkan Famitsū and Gekkan Famitsū

The name Famitsū is a portmanteau abbreviation of Famicom Tsūshin; [lower-alpha 8] the word "Famicom" itself comes from a portmanteau abbreviation of "Family Computer" (the Japanese name for the Nintendo Entertainment System)—the dominant video game console in Japan during the 1980s. The first issue was published on June 6, 1986. Today, Shūkan Famitsū features multi-platform coverage. Shūkan Famitsū is a weekly publication concentrating on video game news and reviews, and is published every Thursday with a circulation of 500,000 per issue. [1] Gekkan Famitsū is published monthly.

Nintendo Entertainment System 8-bit video game console produced by Nintendo in 1983

The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit home video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It is a remodeled export version of the company's Family Computer (FC) platform in Japan, also known as the Famicom for short, which launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched through test markets in New York City and Los Angeles in 1985, before being given a wide release in the rest of North America and parts of Europe in 1986, followed by Australia and other European countries in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. In South Korea, it was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by SK Hynix which then was known as Hyundai Electronics; the Comboy was released in 1989.

A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.

Necky the Fox

Famitsū magazine covers alternately feature pop idols or actresses on even-numbered issues and the Famitsū mascot, Necky [lower-alpha 9] the Fox [7] in odd-numbered issues. [8] Year-end and special editions all feature Necky dressed as popular contemporary video game characters. Necky is the cartoon creation of artist Susumu Matsushita, and he takes the form of a costumed fox. [9] The costumes worn by Necky reflect current popular video games. Necky's name was chosen according to a reader poll, and it derives from a complex Japanese pun: "Necky" is actually the reverse of the Japanese word for fox, キツネ, [lower-alpha 10] and his original connection to Famicom Tsūshin is intended to evoke the bark of the fox, the Japanese onomatopoeia of which is コンコン [lower-alpha 11] . [10] Necky makes a cameo appearance in Super Mario Maker . [11]

Susumu Matsushita is a Japanese manga artist known for his unique American comic–influenced design. His most famous works are the designing of the mascot Neppe of Orix Buffaloes, Motor Toon Grand Prix, Hudson's Adventure Island series, Monkey Magic and the Maximo: Ghosts to Glory concept arts.

<i>Super Mario Maker</i> level editor video game

Super Mario Maker is a side-scrolling platform game and game creation system developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii U game console, which released worldwide in September 2015. Players are able to create and play their own custom courses, based on Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U, share them online, and download and play courses designed by other players. It was a celebration of the 30th anniversary since the release of Super Mario Bros. in 1985.

Special topic Famitsūs

Famitsū publishes other magazines dedicated to particular consoles. Currently in circulation are:

Retrogaming playing or collecting older video and computer games

Retrogaming, also known as classic gaming and old school gaming, is the playing or collecting of older personal computer, console, and arcade video games in contemporary times. Usually retrogaming is based upon systems that are obsolete or discontinued.

Nintendo 3DS portable 3D dual-screen handheld by Nintendo

The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld game console produced by Nintendo. It is capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or additional accessories. Nintendo announced the console in March 2010 and officially unveiled it at E3 2010 on June 15. The console succeeds the Nintendo DS, featuring backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS video games. Its primary competitor was the PlayStation Vita from Sony.

Nintendo Switch hybrid video game console by Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch is a video game console developed by Nintendo and was released on March 3, 2017. It is a hybrid console that can be used as both a stationary and portable device. Its wireless Joy-Con controllers, which include standard buttons and directional analog sticks for user input, motion sensing, and high-definition tactile feedback, can attach to both sides of the console to support handheld-style play. They can also connect to a Grip accessory to provide a traditional home console gamepad form, or be used individually in the hand like the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, supporting local multiplayer modes. The Nintendo Switch's software supports online gaming through standard Internet connectivity, as well as local wireless ad hoc connectivity with other Switch consoles. Nintendo Switch games and software are available on both physical flash-based ROM cartridges and digital distribution via Nintendo eShop; the system does not use region locking. As an eighth-generation console, the Nintendo Switch competes with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.

Former special topics

Famitsū spin-offs that are no longer in circulation include:


Video games are graded in Famitsū via a "Cross Review" in which a panel of four video game reviewers each give a score from 0 to 10 (with ten indicating the best game). The scores of the four reviewers are then added up for a maximum possible score of 40. From the twenty-four games awarded with a perfect score as of 2017, three are for the Nintendo DS and five are for the Wii. The PlayStation 3 also has five games with a perfect score and the Xbox 360 has four, with both consoles having four titles in common. The others are for different platforms with only one title each. Franchises with multiple perfect score winners include The Legend of Zelda with four titles, Metal Gear with three titles, and Final Fantasy with two titles. The most recent game to receive a perfect score is Dragon Quest XI .

As of 2016, all but two games with perfect scores are from Japanese companies, nine being published/developed by Nintendo, four by Square Enix, three by Sega, three by Konami and one by Capcom. As of 2016, the only two completely foreign games to achieve a perfect score are The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Bethesda Softworks and Grand Theft Auto V , from Rockstar Games. Other foreign games that have achieved near-perfect scores are L.A. Noire , Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto IV – all three of which came from Rockstar Games; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 , Call of Duty: Black Ops , and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – all from Activision, although published by Square Enix in Japan; and Gears of War 3 from Epic Games. ( Kingdom Hearts II is a joint effort between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios.)


Famitsu administers the Famitsu awards. Video games receive a number of different awards in categories like Innovation, Biggest Hit, Rookie Award, Highest Quality, etc. One or two "Game of the Year" awards are granted as the top prize. Top prize winners are determined by a combination of critical and fan review scores as well as sales figures.

Relationship with other magazines

UK trade magazine MCV and Famitsu have an exclusive partnership which sees news and content from each magazine appear in the other. [12]

See also


  1. Japanese:ファミ通 Hepburn:Famitsū ?
  2. Japanese:週刊ファミ通 ? , lit. "Weekly Famitsū"
  3. Japanese:ファミコン通信 ? , lit. "Famicom News"
  4. Japanese:週刊ファミコン通信 ? , lit. "Weekly Famicom News"
  5. Japanese:月刊ファミコン通信 ? , lit. "Monthly Famicom News"
  6. Japanese:週刊ファミ通 ? , lit. "Weekly Famitsū"
  7. Japanese:月刊ファミ通 ?
  8. Japanese:ファミコン通信 ? , officially translated as Famicom Journal
  9. Japanese:ネッキー Hepburn:Nekkī ?
  10. Japanese:kitsune ?
  11. Japanese:"kon kon" ?
  12. Japanese:エンタミクス ?
  13. Japanese:オトナファミ ?
  14. Japanese:ファミ通コネクト!オン ?
  15. Japanese:ファミ通DS+Wii ?
  16. Japanese:ファミ通GREE ?
  17. Japanese:ファミ通Mobage ?
  18. Japanese:ファミ通ブロス ?
  19. Japanese:ファミコミ ?
  20. Japanese:ファミ通DC ?
  21. Japanese:ファミ通Sister ?
  22. Japanese:サテラビュー通信 ?
  23. Japanese:バーチャルボーイ通信 ?
  24. Japanese:ファミ通PS ?
  25. Japanese:ファミ通WaveDVD ?
  26. Japanese:ファミ通Xbox ?

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<i>Akira</i> (video game) Video game

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The Japanese video game magazine Famitsū assigns scores to video games by having four reviewers each give a score from 0 to 10. The scores of the four reviewers are then added up for a maximum possible score of 40. From the twenty two games awarded with a perfect score as of 2016, three are for the Nintendo DS and five are for the Wii. The PlayStation 3 also has five games with a perfect score and the Xbox 360 has four, with both consoles having two titles in common. The others are for different platforms with only one title each. Franchises with multiple perfect score winners include The Legend of Zelda with four, Metal Gear with three, followed by Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy with two.

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